Best Backup Solution for iMac Pro

Discussion in 'iMac' started by SecuritySteve, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. SecuritySteve, Jun 4, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019

    SecuritySteve macrumors 6502a

    SecuritySteve

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Location:
    California
    #1
    I'm looking for a backup solution that will backup my iMac Pro. My old drive was used super heavily as a fuzzing drive, and all of the IO seriously impacted it's lifespan. Now it has officially died, and I am in the market for a replacement.

    I have never owned a RAID array, but I am aware of the advantages. I'm looking for something that will adequately back up my iMac Pro for the next 3 years, and will not break the bank.

    Bonus feature wishlist:

    • Darker Exterior (space grey or black). This will be sitting on top of my desk next to my workstation, and I would like it to be visually appealing since it will attract the eyes.
    • Thunderbolt 3 connection.
    • Quiet during normal operation.

    In addition to the hardware, what is the best backup software these days? I have heard Carbon Copy Cloner is good, but what other options are out there? Time machine seems to have been getting worse and I am considering moving away from it.

    Edit: Budget of around 800$ USD

    Edit 2: Backing up the entire drives of two iMac Pros. Leaning towards a NAS box. In the process of writing this thread I realized my girlfriend's computer could probably use a backup solution too.
     
  2. tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a

    tomscott1988

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Depends on your storage needs.

    If all you need is a 1TB back up you don't need an array really... is 1TB all you need or are you looking for a more functionality?

    I have the OWC Thunderbay 6 its a beast and has an NVME M2 slot, display port and 2 TB3 ports but was £600.

    There is also the Thunderbay 4.

    Its not the quietest thing on earth but the speed is pretty awesome.

    Non of the TB3 raids are cheap the Thunderbay 6 seemed the best all rounder for me.
     
  3. SecuritySteve thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SecuritySteve

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    #3
    I would say 4 TB of backup space would be plenty, and really 2 or 3 way redundancy would also be plenty. As for speed, I would like to get as fast as possible, but would be willing to sacrifice on speed to lower the cost.
     
  4. tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a

    tomscott1988

    Joined:
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    #4
    Why do you need speed for backup? If its incremental and set up everyday it wont take long to back up.

    Ive got mine set up to 2x 4tb Raid 0s for storage taking 4 slots then I have two 8tb external usb3 drives attached through a USB C hub attached to the second TB3 port to back those up.

    I then have 2 1tb ssds in raid 0 for a scratch/cache drive in the other two slots.

    X5 for a boot.
     
  5. SecuritySteve thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SecuritySteve

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    #5
    I just want the speed for longevity. Again, it is something I could sacrifice. I looked into your enclosure, and boy it is expensive. Ideally I'd like to spend around 800$ or so on this. (Probably should have said that in my original post, I will add it now).
     
  6. tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a

    tomscott1988

    Joined:
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    #6
    Including the drives? Like I said depends on your needs really. Spinning drives make sense because they are cheap and quick enough for that purpose.

    Speed and longevity don’t really go together why most nas drives are slower 5400 drives and the amount of data written makes SSDs poor choices too.

    TB3 is also unessasary unless it’s daisy chained and a bit of a waste of the bandwidth even in a raid 5 with 4 drives which isn’t really something I would use as a backup the max speed you will see is about 800r/w this is more suitable as useable data drives.

    My raid 0 drives run about 250mbs 8TB each the SSDs in raid 0 are 700mbs so about 1000mbs and still leaves headroom for the display port and the second TB3 port for the USBC dongle that runs the back up drives and other peripherals so I don’t need to turn the iMac round all the time.

    Probably better looking at a western digital raid drive or even a nas you could use 10gb Ethernet instead.

    TB3 is better for fast scratch drives like an X5 but is overkill for a backup. Incremental backups are really quick after the first big back up is done even so 1TB will be done in an hour or so first time round.

    Maybe you should buy a couple of USB3 4TB drives they will run 120mbs and keep your TB3 ports free for fast peripherals. They are like £100 each and you could have two running so one could be offsite for more piece of mind.
     
  7. SecuritySteve thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SecuritySteve

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    #7
    I'm interested in Thunderbolt 3 mostly for the port on the iMac Pro, as opposed to using it for the bandwidth. I can't use the ethernet port as that is already in use for my machine. I'd rather not deal with adapters, and daisy chaining might be involved down the road too. Ideally this array would be attached to up to two iMac Pros potentially, and partitioned into a backup for each. The 800$ budget includes the drives.

    Also curious what backup software you use.
     
  8. tomscott1988, Jun 4, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019

    tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a

    tomscott1988

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    #8
    I think you’ll need a bigger budget to get a twin TB3 solution.

    The problem is TB it’s expensive and like I said is overkill unless your after a nas solution to read and write to.

    Your budget might buy the enclosure. The thunderbay has 2 ports but only one is for data the other is for daisy chaining.

    Here’s a cheaper 4 bay solution


    --- Post Merged, Jun 4, 2019 ---
    The TB3 ports are USB3.1 gen 2 compatible too and they have half the bandwidth at 20gbs but is still more than enough for fast storage.

    My 1tb ssd in a usb 3 enclosure does about 450r/w but in a 3.1 gen 2 gets closer to 600 as a SATA drive won’t quite max the bus on a usb 3 port but there is headroom on usb3 gen 2. Loads of solutions out there that are 1/4 the price.

    You could get a raid 0 usb3 gen 2 enclosure and put 2 SSDs in it



    I went with the thunderbay 6 because I could put all my drives from my Mac Pro into it. I have a HP microserver too which has 4 10TB drives in raid 5 working as a NAS and is a secondary back up for piece of mind as well as being a media server and I can access it anywhere which is really useful.

    I have it paired up using Ethernet and it get 160mb reads and writes all day which is still pretty quick. More than enough for most things apart from using it as a drive to work from for video etc but as a file sharing device and back up it’s a great cheap solution.

    The microserver was £170 and the drives were £325 each. I get though a huge amount of data being a photographer and videographer so need the space and redundancy.
     
  9. SecuritySteve thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SecuritySteve

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    #9
    The more I think about it and the more research I do, the more I think your suggestion about getting a NAS might be more sound financially. I guess I could just plug it into my router and encrypt / protect the NAS.

    I'm looking at Synology and QNAP arrays now. Any preference there?
     
  10. mdelrossi macrumors member

    mdelrossi

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    #10
    What are you backing up? Video, photos?
    Not to be a jerk, but if you’ve got 2 iMac Pro’s your budget is out of balance.

    I’m working with a late 2014 iMac 5k, and just sprang for a Qnap TVS 627xt 6 bay thunderbolt3 with 10gbe with 4 8tb iron wolf Seagate drives for around $2,500.


    Cheap, fast, good, pick 2.

    As others have said if it’s just for backup, then get a couple of USB3 hard drives.

    But then you mentioned “Ideally this array would be attached to up to two iMac Pros potentially, and partitioned into a backup for each.”
    Are they on a network? Then get a NAS, Qnap makes several.


    More info on how you will be using it and what you are backing up would be helpful.
     
  11. SecuritySteve thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SecuritySteve

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    #11
    Yeah I'm looking at NAS boxes now. Kinda leaning towards Synology based off the advice of a coworker. Any preference on Synology vs Qnap?

    As for what I am backing up, it is the entire drives of both iMac Pros, in the event they fail. This is more for peace of mind and data security than it is for media serving, etc.
     
  12. mdelrossi macrumors member

    mdelrossi

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    #12
    I have synology now. I think they are too slow. That and I’m also replacing my directly attached storage, made me look at Qnap. Head over to their forum https://forum.qnap.com/viewforum.php?f=12.

    Remember if your going to network them , 1 gigabit Ethernet is only 100MB/s on a good day.
    Since you have iMac Pros you might want to also invest in a 10gbe switch with speeds of 1,000 MB/s.

    I’m in the middle of moving data from my synology and it’s moving at 25-50 MB/s, so 8TB will take the better part of 2 days:(

    They have several models that would work for you.
     
  13. tomscott1988, Jun 4, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019

    tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a

    tomscott1988

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    #13
    A nas is a bit of a waste of money too just to back up the internal drive. A NAS is on all day everyday and if your only using 1TB of storage your use case isn't really worth it for the 10-15 mins a day that the NAS would actually be used to back up each system at the end of the day. Its not like these back ups will be accessed ever unless of a failure which really is pretty slim with the NVME drives in the iMac Pro.

    2x 2TB USB 3 drives for each system would give you onsite offsite and be super cheap. Like £200 all in. Push it to 4TB each for £400 all in, really for back up you only need a drive double the size as after a while or how ever you set the back up to run it will overwrite old data.

    Problem for me is actually backup up. I run through 8-16TB per year easy and because its mostly weddings I have a duty of care to keep it safe. My working drives add up to 20TB my NAS has 30TB and I have an offsite back up of 30TB that I swap out every week to ensure if any problem like a burglary or a fire etc my data is safe elsewhere.

    In total I have 90TB to look after and a load of archive I keep in a safe.
     
  14. SecuritySteve thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SecuritySteve

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    Jul 6, 2017
    Location:
    California
    #14
    I'm really looking at a RAID array to avoid the situation I'm in now though. I had a backup drive, and it died, and now I have nothing. If my machine goes, much of my work is lost. Granted it is unlikely to happen, but backups exist for a reason. Redundancy would be nice, and with how valuable my data is I really should invest in getting a good backup solution that will last a long time. I could get two cheaper LaCie raid arrays for each machine, or one NAS box. Both seem like good options.
     
  15. mdelrossi macrumors member

    mdelrossi

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    #15
    Just remember a Raid is not a backup in and of itself. You also need to backup the NAS.

    3 -2-1

    3 copies of your data on 2 drives, with 1 offsite.


    You might want to look at cloud based backup as well like Backblaze. That way you could just get 2 local USB hard drives, and backup to backblaze.


    As far as software goes, I’ve been using Carbon Copy Cloner, but trying out CronoSync and it’s much faster.
     
  16. tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a

    tomscott1988

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    #16
    Drives die, even if you want the long haul.

    Its more about copies, having 2-3. Raids aren't really a backup solution they just offer more protection than a single drive. The only real solution is to have multiples.

    Also use CCC.
     
  17. wardie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    #17
    Just buy a cheap large USB3 HDD. Eventually when it breaks buy another. No need for real speed or redundancy in a backup IMHO, just verification that it is a valid backup. I tend to use both a TM and CCC backup so even if I lose one I’ve still got one backup as well as source until I can recover.
     
  18. codernova macrumors member

    codernova

    Joined:
    May 13, 2019
    #18
    Just remember to test restoring from your backup solution before you consider it a "backup".
     

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17 June 4, 2019